Civil

When Southwest Airlines completes the new Houston Hobby International Terminal, including five gates and a new Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility, in late 2015, both international and domestic fliers will have something to celebrate.

The project includes a two-story building with five “swing gates,” able to direct passengers arriving from outside of the United States to a new FIS facility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the first floor. These specially designed gates can also accommodate domestic arrivals by steering passengers to the appropriate area. 

When two organizations come together to work on a project, they can offer a unique combination of talents. That is exactly what E.E. Cruz Co. Inc. and Tully Construction Co. Inc. have brought to the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge project in Queens, N.Y.

Tully Project Manager Bill Groesbeck notes the two firms have formed joint ventures on many projects before, including work on the Second Avenue Subway line and the Route 9A project near the World Trade Center in New York City. “It’s a good marriage,” he says. 

With the parentage of Flatiron Construction Corp., E.E. Cruz “has very effective costing and administrative procedures in place,” Groesbeck says. “Tully has a strong network of manpower and a large fleet of equipment. Both companies have their different areas of expertise and both know how to get the job done.”

Building a bridge over an eight-lane highway or raging river is the type of work Construction Demathieu & Bard has specialized in for more than 150 years. “What makes us different is that we are adaptable to different situations,” Senior Vice President Ilies Amami says. 

Construction Demathieu & Bard is the Canadian subsidiary of the Demathieu & Bard Group, which was founded in France in 1861, and specializes in bridge and hydropower plant infrastructure construction. The Quebec location opened in 1997 and its hydropower work expanded the company into Ontario in 2010. 

“We are quite independent and because of that, we decided to develop more of a presence in Canada and we look to further extend our activities in North America,” Amami adds. The company is privately owned by 75 percent of its employees, while investors own the other 25 percent.  

For 87 years, the Gilboa Dam has provided drinking water for New York City residents. But after decades of service, the dam is in need of a restoration, which Barnard Construction Co. Inc. and D.A. Collins Construction Cos. are providing at the dam’s location in the Catskills Mountains in Gilboa, N.Y.

The contractors will reconstruct the spillway control section of the dam, which contains the Schoharie Reservoir, which can hold 17.6 billion gallons of water. Barnard Project Manager Aaron Rietveld notes that the $121 million project will ensure that the dam is up to current safety standards. 

Barnard and D.A. Collins started the project in June 2011, and are contractually obligated to deliver the project by June 2016. Although the companies planned to finish the project well ahead of schedule in 2013, they experienced delays when hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit the site in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Traylor Bros. Inc. has built its reputation in the construction industry as a company that will take on complex, innovative and challenging projects that other firms shy away from. “We service a niche market,” Vice President Thad Pirtle says. “We do work that most of the time no one wants to touch because it’s so challenging. We do work under cities, on live rail lines and on bridges over major rivers.”

The Evansville, Ind.- based company was founded in 1946 by William Traylor, a civil engineer and inspector for the city of Evansville. By 1956, Traylor had bridged the Ohio River and bored his first mile of tunnel. Careful attention to methods, equipment and design of special equipment and excavation support schemes was Traylor’s personal focus. Today, the company is under the leadership of the third generation of Traylors – Co-Presidents Christopher and Michael Traylor. 

Traylor is divided into three operating divisions: national heavy civil, underground and mining. The heavy civil division provides comprehensive, cutting-edge heavy civil construction services. Traylor has completed more than 135 complex bridge construction and rehabilitation projects across the nation, as well as piers, wharfs, transit terminals, locks and dams. Its underground division is focused on constructing tunnel projects in North America by using state-of-the-art technology to complete projects in soft ground to hard rock. Tunneling methods include mixed shield/slurry, earth pressure balance, and hard rock tunnel boring. Mining is the company’s newest division and focuses on shaft, decline, underground development and facilities construction from conception to completion. 

The completion of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in September 2013 was a major accomplishment for state transportation agency Caltrans and a host of contractors including Oakland's own Silverado Contractors. The project – which cost $6.3 billion and took 11 years to build – finally put to rest concerns about the bridge's ability to withstand an earthquake akin to the 7.1-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, which collapsed a portion of the span.

Although traffic is now moving on the bridge, another large project is currently underway: the removal of the now-closed 2,400-foot-long and 70-foot-wide cantilever portion of the east span, which rises 400 feet above San Francisco Bay at its highest point. A joint venture of Silverado Contractors and California Engineering Contractors is working to demolish the cantilever and related truss structures piece by piece. 

With mobile communications, the whole rental car industry is in a state of flux as legacy companies compete with Internet start-ups that offer car rental by the hour and locations all over cities.

“Because of the cell phone and other technology, the rental car business is changing,” points out Bob Bolton, director of design and construction for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “There’s a bunch of companies that are starting to show up that are changing the rental car model.”

Those changes are being incorporated in the new rental car center that is being built as part of the north side development at San Diego International Airport. “More than 95 percent of the cars being rented at this airport now will be contained in this building,” Bolton states. “Right now, we have plans for 16 brands, and there is capacity in this building to add more brands. This building is designed to be flexible and accommodate the technology and the industry of the future. These facilities are set up for 30 years of business.”

One of the busiest and most congested railroad intersections in the United States is receiving a well-needed upgrade. 

Austin, Texas-based contractor Jay-Reese Contractors Inc. in June 2013 began work on the realignment and improvement of the Tower 55 intersection near downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Jay-Reese is performing $21.5 million worth of contracts on the project, valued at a total cost of $101 million. The project is slated for completion in September 2014.

“Once complete, the Tower 55 Project will relieve freight rail congestion south of the juncture of Interstate 35 West and I-30, where five major freight and passenger rail routes converge and up to 100 trains pass every day,” the city of Fort Worth says. “It will also increase rail capacity, making it more efficient for freight shippers and improving passenger rail reliability and performance.”

Jay-Reese’s contract includes installing additional tracks running north, south and through the Tower 55 intersection serving the BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines; improving track alignment and switches to move trains through the area faster; building new and structurally improved bridges and drainage structures near the area and improving city arterial streets, intersections and grade crossings. 

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